Chairman’s message 27 January

Chairman’s message 27 January

Dear Friends,

First of all thank you to everyone who took the time to email me last week, to say how much you enjoy my emails and are pleased that they are back. I really do appreciate it and it makes me feel very connected the Community.  

It is almost a year since John and I decided to shield ourselves and I find that is extraordinary as the weeks pass in our lockdown routine. However, I am sure that my week is like a Harry Potter staircase (always changing pace and direction) as the day to do the ironing seems to come round quicker than any other day. I think that I am fortunate as I have John to keep me company, my HR work and the Synagogue to keep me busy and no children living here to home school. I know that for many of you it is not so easy and I was recently sent this quote, part of which made me think “just don’t patronise me!” and part or which resonated with me. I hope some of it resonates with you too. The ideas come from Gyles Brandreth – writer, broadcaster, former MP, founder of the National Scrabble Championships. Here are some of his ideas to help us through lockdown: 

  • Be a leaf on a tree: belong to something bigger than yourself, a community of some sort. 
  • Cultivate a passion: have something in your life you really love doing. This can be anything, no matter how mundane or esoteric.
  • Break the mirror: we should stop thinking about ourselves, look up and turn our attention outwards. 
  • Audit your happiness: make a list of the things that make you happy and make a list of the things which make you unhappy, then try to make the first list longer than the second. 
  • If you want to be happy, act happy: it is possible to tell yourself to cheer up. A quote from the Dalai Lama adds to this: ‘Choose to be optimistic, it feels better’.

I hope by now that all those of you who are older members will have received a phone call from a volunteer who work with the Tikkun Olam Committee. We want to check that you are OK and just have a chat. If you haven’t had a call or know of anyone who hasn’t then please let Lee know in the office. 

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. The AJR held their remembrance service yesterday on Zoom with Rabbi Altshuler and Cantor Heller taking part. We are sorry for posting the wrong details in last week’s NFTS but you can watch a recording of it here – We will mark Holocaust Memorial Day this coming Friday night at our Erev Shabbat Service.

On 11 February at 7.30pm the Jewish Musical Institute are holding a gala evening, which is free to join. The gala concert will be available on all JMI platforms worldwide – you will be able to simply click on either of the following links from 7pm and click in. or

The Leo Baeck School in Haifa is holding a free Zoom event on Sunday 7 February at 2pm: Rabbi Leo Baeck, Living a Religious Imperative in Troubled Times. This will be a conversation between author Michael A. Meyer and Lord Daniel Finkelstein. If you would like to attend this then please contact Adam Rynhold who will send you a link to register.

Lastly please don’t forget our synagogue events, The Big Belsize Square Synagogue Quiz this coming Sunday at 7.30pm (register for it by contacting the office) and our session with Jami on mental health, Getting Through Lockdown: taking care of myself and my friends. 

Stay safe and stay well,